New York Red Bulls – Match Report vs. CF Montreal (09/04/2022)

The New York Red Bulls fell 2-1 to C.F Montreal, dropping points at home for the 3rd match in a row. True to form the Red Bulls played a direct and high pressing style. But they struggled to break down C.F Montreal’s 3-4-3 formation. 

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Patryk Klimala

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Polish
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 05/08/1998
  • Current Club: New York Red Bulls
  • Career: Jagiellonia, Wigry Suwalki, Celtic
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred Foot: Right  

Patryk Klimala has been off to a red hot start to the MLS season. But in this particular match, he had a hard time getting going. Klimala ticks a lot of the boxes for the Archetype of a Red Bull striker. He pressed with a lot of intensity and intelligence and competed for every loose ball. He won the ball back in the attacking 3rd on several occasions. He never looked like he was chasing the ball in vain, he always seemed to be pressing with a plan in mind. But he’s quite reliant on service from teammates and it was not forthcoming in this game. He showed some good physical strength, often shrugging off tackles or holding off defenders and laying off the ball to a teammate.

But Montreal did a good job of keeping the NYRB to the edges of the box and Klimala wasn’t any more successful than his teammates at breaking them down. He did not have very much luck dribbling out of tight spaces, even when he did receive the ball in the box. His touch was also not the most refined and he was guilty of losing the ball via poor touches a couple of times. He was limited to two shots, one of which was from the top right corner of the penalty area and the other of which was an audacious attempt to chip the keeper from the halfway line. There were definitely moments where he made incisive runs but the ball just did not get to him. 

Rating – B1

I am actually quite a big believer in Klimala’s ability to take a step up but there is no denying this was not his best game. His game is about runs in behind and intelligent pressing. He did not have the opportunities to show that in this game and instead some of his weaknesses were highlighted. 

Omir Fernandez

Player profile:

  • Nationality: American 
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 08/02/1999
  • Current Club: New York Red Bulls
  • Career: New York Red Bulls (Y), Wake Forrest Demon Deacons
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Omir Fernandez suffered from the same malaise as the rest of the Red Bulls’ attack but I still felt he showed a lot of positive skills. He does not necessarily dictate the tempo of a match but he is a very good presser and he is very dangerous in transition moments. Fernandez did a good job of snatching the ball off of misplaced passes or tackling an opponent directly and driving the ball forward towards the opposition goal. He looked very dangerous when receiving the ball in between Montreal’s midfield and defensive lines, whether he was taking the ball away from an opponent or receiving the ball from a teammate. He was very good at getting free from markers and making himself available for passes in these areas.

Despite his small size, Fernandez did well to protect the ball when he received it. He has a low centre of gravity and uses it to hold off opposing players, even ones that are much larger than him. He also showed an ability to dribble well with quick changes of direction that left Montreal defenders in his wake. But, like the rest of the Red Bull’s attack, he had a hard time breaking down the Montreal backline. He did not assist any shots. There were two main reasons for this. A lot of his forward passes were blocked, and he had a bit of trouble getting the weight of his passes right. This might indicate a deficiency in the timing and range of his passing. But his shot creation numbers are pretty good so I am inclined to put it down to a mixture of Montreal defending well on the day and bad luck. It will certainly be something to watch for in the future. 

RatingB1

This was not Fernandez’s strongest match but I felt he showed a lot of traits that would have led to a more productive game (it sounds odd to criticise the scorer of a team’s only goal for not being productive but his goal was quite fortunate). Fernandez is a bit of a late bloomer, having struggled for first-team minutes early in his career, but he has blossomed under Gerhard Struber. If he can keep that up he might prove to be an interesting purchase for a team at a higher level. 

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